Tag Archives: development

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Oh hai.

At 2 months, QT finally fits into the 0-3 mths pjs. I figured it might be time for him to switch from the newborn pjs to the 0-3 mths when his feet couldn’t really fit into the sleepsuit.

Has it only been 2 months? Compared to handling Ollie when he was a newborn, this sure feels like it has been ages. Must be the lack of sleep haha.

The boys are growing fast. I know, I contradict. Time is passing slow, but the boys are growing fast. Go figure. QT is filling up into his clothes. He is sooooo chubby that I can’t resist pinching his cheeks. He is still pretty old soul. He occasionally gives you that rare smile. Otherwise, to put it in a friend’s words “he is so zen!” Yep. That’s my old soul monster alright. He is pretty strong, with lifting up his neck and kicking his feet. I reckon he pretty much “stands” when I lift him up against me when I am seated. He’s got a mean kick too. *grumble*

And then there is Ollie. He has gotten to speaking with specifics. A couple of days ago, Ollie stepped on Marcus’ tail (again) and this time I am guessing it annoyed Marcus enough for him to give Ollie a swipe, resulting in a couple of scratches. So when told to recount what happened to Donald, he said “Marcus bite you (me) on the left leg.” I am impressed. I do not know where that came about, but I am impressed. *pride*

I guess Ollie is also starting to be aware about the attention being shared between QT and him. I feel guilty about not spending too much time with QT. I mean all he does at this time is really eat and sleep. There are the occasional hour or two that he is awake, and I sometimes place him on the play gym for some tummy time or to watch the mobile. The rest of the time is spent with Ollie. And Ollie, in that attempt to be noticed, would build/construct something out of his blocks and then come and get me if I am in the kitchen or away from him.

“Mummy come see! Hold hands. Mummy hold hands and see.” He would no longer settle for a “oh really? That’s awesome”. I had to physically follow him, holding his hand and sit with him (“mummy sit here.”) and examine said construct. It is endearing. And I am humbled by it. I read an article recently about praising/overpraising a child. One of the points was empty praise. You know, saying for the sake of saying it. I am definitely guilty of it, especially when I am indulging in some mobile phone time. Just to get him off my back. I have been trying to change that, and take more notice of him and what he is doing. And we have been having some better times.

There are still that occasional 2-3 smacks he gives QT. It really shits me but I am trying so hard to not give Ollie a hard time about it. I am torn between not wanting him to feel isolated or threatened by QT versus yelling at him to get him to stop the behaviour (and potentially worsening the situation). Poor QT would wail for a bit post smack and after being picked up by me. I know he probably wouldn’t remember the incident but I feel so bad for him, that I am not being able to protect him much from his older brother.

Argh. Damn you, guilt.

May be it is because a couple of friends have mentioned that my boys are growing up really fast, that I have taken a second look at how they have been progressing. I mean..it is already mid-April. Almost 1/3 of the year has passed.

Damn you, time.

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sense of wonder

Dolphin watching

Dolphin watching

this is my current favourite photo of my boys. The wide smile on Donald’s face and Ollie pointing excitedly at his close encounter with the dolphins. I took a video too, and it is also my current favourite video. Haha. It was a good day today.

With Donald clearing leave from last year, and us scoring free tickets to the S.E.A Aquarium thanks to my cousin, we decided that we would take Ollie to the aquarium for his third time. Seeing how he enjoyed his last trip to the zoo, I reckoned he should be better able to appreciate the aquarium this time round.

And boy he did.

“Woooaaaaah, so many fish! So many people!” *laugh* Yes, Ollie does such exclamations. It is quite funny sometimes, a little on the dramatic side, but at least he is using it in the right context. =P He was running here and there, and EVERYWHERE. Peering into the screen, watching some of the divers clean the tanks, feed the fish and even decorate a Christmas tree in the tropical fish tank. Right.

He was pretty enticed by the dolphin tank. We hung around for a bit, Ollie exclaiming loudly each time a dolphin came up close.

“Ohh!! Going up! Dolphin swimming swimming. Upside down! Ohh!!” 

You know what? I love watching that look of excitement, wonder and surprise on his face. The look on his face as Donald’s iPhone unlocks after he keys in the password as Donald recites it to him, despite him having done it before. The look on his face as a stream of bubbles come out of the bubble gun. The look on his face as the dolphins swim past him.

The funny thing after hanging out for so long at the dolphin tank was that…every other fish became a dolphin too. Yikes. No, Ollie, that is a threadfin, not dolphin. Alamak. I reckon he had a field day. It has been a long time since he had been out for an entire day, with the opportunity to run around and be carried by his daddy for most of the day. Being 6.5 months pregnant only means Ollie stays home a lot with me during the week because I cannot handle  an active toddler outside. And I constantly feel bad for not letting Ollie have the opportunity to do what he is supposed to be doing at his age, run and be active. So I am also constantly bugging Donald to take Ollie out or go out when Donald is around so that Ollie can use up his week’s quota of energy, hahah.

I am thankful he is contented to stay home with me. We go through his books in Mandarin (he is getting the hang of using the phrase 不可以 ALOT), he plays with his cars and now new train set *roll eyes* and we watch some cartoons and sing songs with silly actions. He is a pretty decent kid, despite days where I want to strangle him.

Christmas is around the corner, and it is Ollie’s first Christmas where he is starting to be aware of what on earth is going on: presents. We have been receiving some presents early, and Ollie sure knows how to rip off the wrapper. He is starting to be aware that it means books or toys, of which he is happy to receive either. He just received his third Christmas gift from his paternal grandma, which is a train set that Donald and I chose. I was telling a couple of people that Christmas is a whole new ballgame when your kids are involved. I mean, I stopped receiving gifts when I got to high school. Not that I am complaining. As I grew older, Christmas was a time for gathering with family and just chilling and eating a lot of food. Now that I have a child, Ollie is on the receiving end of it. Comparing the type of toys I had when I was a kid, and the kind of toys Ollie is receiving..it kinda scares/overwhelms me a little. Sure, I am thankful that Ollie is so loved by family members and they spoil him with toys. But seriously, I think the amount of toys he is amassing is quite…scary. I don’t even remember having THAT many toys!

Where do we draw the line at how much toys he has, what kind of toys he has, and the monetary value of the type of toys he receives?? I mean..when I was a kid, some toys were probably from the neighbourhood store and costs nothing more than 10 bucks? Some of Ollie’s toys cost over 50 bucks. I can be a bit of a snob with toys..I don’t want him chewing on cheap plastic toys so I get those where paint doesn’t peel off the plastic or rubber foam can’t be chewed out. I guess the more educated we are about the toys, the more expensive our choices may be? Then there is the intellectual, developmental stimulation that the toy will bring to the child..etc. The variable goes on and one can get so sucked into the whole marketing spiel (“develop fine motor skills! imaginative play! creativity!”) 

Then I start thinking..what happened to just a good run in the park (barring unforeseen circumstances)? Ollie loves grass. He would walk into a mall, see green carpeting that looks like grasss and go “mummy, green grass! Ollie walk green grass!” . He loves swimming, and now that Raina is back, she can bring Ollie swimming every fortnight at my grandma’s place.

Well, I am not saying toys are bad. Toys will give me some time to myself whilst he is entertained by it. Toys do help Ollie develop in some way. I guess I am worried that Ollie has had it so good he doesn’t know how to handle it when the bad hits, or that he may take things for granted. And I am also worried that in trying to make him not take things for granted, I am end up being too restrictive. Ooohhhh balance. Where’s the balance. Like now I am slowly trying to make Ollie understand that saying “please” doesn’t mean that he will get his request granted, and that mummy can still say no to that request regardless of how polite you are.

Argh..parenting is such tricky business!

Side note: okay Ollie doesn’t have that much toys. It probably seems like a lot to me cos we have toys that are also suitable for 5yos like Lego and storing all of those older toys in his wardrobe is making me freak out a little. I would think that he has enough toys for his age. Enough for me to rotate them three times and for him to not ask for more.

this is my child

naptime

naptime

a couple of things happened over the past few days which made me think a lot about how Ollie has been developing and the kind of exchanges that Ollie and I have.

I don’t want to say that Ollie is an easy child cos how easy a child is, is very subjective to the kind of mindset that the parent has when raising a child. I would like to say that I am a fairly easygoing person with Ollie, there are no hard and fast rules, really strict rules unless they are pertaining to his safety and well being.

But here is what I would describe my soon-to-be 22 month old to be like:

Ollie wakes up smiling. Every morning, he wakes up, if he sees me looking at him, he would smile groggily, roll around a little before sitting up and smiling back at me. Then he goes, “mummy, wake up”. We would then have a little cuddle before we start the day with part one of his breakfast.

Breakfast is usually a 20 minute affair where we would go through some of his picture books, or he would watch what the cats are doing whilst eating his cereal, he would announce what the birds are doing outside the window (“birds tweet tweet outside window!”). Ollie would spend the first half of his breakfast self-feeding. There is just something about him lean over his bowl and spooning cereal into his mouth, then having a drink out of his mug of milk. Oh independence.

Some mornings, we would read a book together, probably his favourite book which is kinda falling apart already. These days, he would “read” me the book rather than I read it to him. He is starting to notice more details in the pictures, how two similar looking characters differ by the colour of their hair. He includes reading of the page numbers as well. Other mornings, we would watch some cartoons together, or he would spend the time reading books on his own, watching cartoons whilst I go ahead with my morning household chores.

But whilst we are together, he would sit next to me or between my legs on the floor, and we would have a cuddle. That closeness we share at that point in time is so precious. I can feel his excitement in looking at the pictures and describing what he thinks is going on in the picture.

Did I mention nap times with him are pretty awesome too? Now that I am carrying #2, naps forces me to take a break as well and have a rest whilst I can. We still co-sleep with Ollie despite the growing lack of space in our queen sized bed. When it is just Ollie and I napping, Ollie would ramble on and on about nursery rhymes or just jabber in general. We would have a quiet hide under the blanket for a while, and then he will snuggle against my shoulder and quiet down. Ollie is very affectionate when he sleeps. He caresses our faces in his sleep, strokes our arms when he snuggles up to us and with me, he would wrap his arm around me as much as possible before settling back to sleep when he gets a little restless in his sleep. It is almost like he is using his hands to make sure we are still around when he is sleeping. My favourite part? The face caresses.

Ollie loves trying to do things on his own. His little face will light up with pride and joy when he succeeds in his task. If it is a puzzle or something he is “building”, he will run up to us with the said object and show it off. Ollie also loves running into us for a hug and giggle. He may start laughing whilst running towards you. Ollie has started being aware of other emotions as well. He is starting to comprehend that others may be sad. When Donald or I give a sad face, or make an unhappy sound, Ollie will say “Daddy/Mummy cry. Ollie sayang”. If he is the one in pain, or upset, he would inform either of us what the other did, “Ollie fall down, Ollie cry. Daddy sayang.” He will always run up to either of us for a cuddle and kiss when he gets hurt and decides that it is worth making a fuss over. Other falls when playing, he usually just brushes it off.

Like any other kid, Ollie loves playing. Playing with his toy vehicles, chasing around the house, hide and seek, doing activities. He is very energetic but he has his quiet moments where he is happy to sit down by his bookshelf and flip through his picture books. I have to thank a friend who introduced the idea of keeping half of his toys away so that he doesn’t get bored of all of them by some point in time. It has been a lifesaver!! Now that Ollie can talk & somewhat sing, he loves jabbering away, talking to people that is with him. He will announce what he is doing or what happened. He will make requests. He will tell you what he would like to do (“go airport!”). He loves engaging in a conversation. Donald asked if I would ever ask him to shut up. No. His jabbering beats having the television or the radio on. He cracks me up sometimes. I would never trade that for anything in the world.

Donald and I do have slightly different parenting styles but I put it more to gender differences than parent differences. Earlier today, Ollie had wanted to walk when we were out and refused to hold Donald’s hand in the slightly crowded mall. Donald’s condition was that Ollie had to hold his hand, otherwise he would have to be carried. Ollie managed to squirm out of Donald’s grasp and ran towards me. I then stopped and took Ollie’s hand and said to him, “Ollie, you have to hold mummy’s hand when you are walking. Where would you like to go? Mummy will follow you.” He then gamely started leading the walk whilst holding on to my hand. He would point to where he wanted to head to and then walked in that direction. I do not want Donald and I to play good cop/bad cop. We do have regular discussions about how we communicate with Ollie, and Donald tries his best with Ollie. And Ollie knows that Daddy is more than just a playtime buddy. He is cool with Daddy soothing his hurt in Daddy’s own way. Which, in my opinion, is pretty awesome. Donald and I are pretty on par in Ollie’s eyes, except I do have a slight advantage over Donald due to the amount of time I spend with Ollie.

I can say 90% of our time spent together are more happy than cranky/fussy. It is handled with a lot of love, laughter and cuddles. Donald and I have agreed that we would not like to use certain words on Ollie, words that our parents have used on us and have made us uncomfortable with using them in today’s context. Our parents probably lived on the notion of tough love. I would like to think we are raising Ollie in a gentle environment, an environment that would stand on logic, values and lots of love.

The other 10% of the time, Ollie throws things around when he is upset. If he is told off for doing something that he is not supposed to do, he escalates the behaviour. If he had been tossing cat food around one pellet at a time, he would be emptying the entire dish if he is upset after being told off. Same goes with banging on doors, and emptying fluids on the ground, followed by smearing said fluid all over the floor. There are days when I am having a bad day, it takes us a couple of hours to settle back down. On most days, it takes us 15 minutes to settle back down, when I just wait and he decides that he feels really bad and all he wants is for me to hold him for a while. But things can only get better than before the tantrum. We have released our pent up frustration and we are all giggly and happy again, he is more obliging when I tell him he needs to entertain himself whilst I do some cooking.

The only other people who spend a fair amount of time with him are our parents. Do I expect them to treat Ollie the way we do? Yes I do. Grandparents can spoil them but respect the way we want to raise Oliver.  It is a little frustrating when our expectations and that of our parents differ due to what they know back then and what we know now. Our parents do have a tendency of saying “We did it and look, you turned out fine”.  Sure, there are some values I appreciate but there are certain mindsets I do not agree with because I did not like it whilst I was growing up and definitely do not wish for it to be imposed on my child.  Let Ollie be the child he is supposed to be. And just be a grandparent.

Ollie is the way he is because of the way we let him be. If you think he is a pretty decent kid, then surely we must be doing something right. Let us be the parents. Sometimes, we know what is best for our child.